Saturday 26 April 2008

Town gets green light for €200m land swap deal

A €200 MILLION development, set to be the largest ever built in Tralee town centre, was yesterday given the green light by the town council.

The project, which involves a land swap, will see the relocation of the historic Austin Stack Park and the adjoining John Mitchel’s GAA Club.

The 11 acres, currently occupied by the club and the county GAA board, will be turned into residential, office, retail, leisure and community facilities.

Some 400 jobs will be created during the construction process, while 1,000 full and part-time positions will be in place when the development is complete.

Tralee Town Council yesterday indicated its intention to grant planning permission for the project and work could start next year. The consortium behind the development said it would be a boost for the town and would create substantial employment at a challenging time for the economy.

Businessmen JJ Casey and Seamus O’Halloran said in a joint statement: “We are delighted with the council’s decision. The project makes a bold, confident statement about Tralee town and its potential.”

The news was welcomed by Tralee mayor Miriam McGillicuddy, who said: “It is a tremendous project and will be very good for business locally. The fact that the office element will include financial services is also a major plus.”

Under the deal, which sees the 11-acre town centre site being swapped for 200 acres outside Tralee, Kerry County Board is to develop two new complexes to replace Austin Stack Park.

A 15,000-seater stadium, a practice pitch, 20,000sq ft of offices and parking for 1,200 cars are planned for Ballybeggan, plus a 30-acre training academy at Currans in mid-Kerry.

The John Mitchel’s club has obtained planning permission for the development of a new sports complex at Skehanagh, Tralee.

As part of the deal, The Kingdom County Coursing Club is also to develop new coursing facilities at Ballinorig, Tralee.

Irish Examiner

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